If you use an Lightcast product or service, chances are you’ve seen some of our labor market projections. We provide detailed job estimates, by industry and occupation, for each of the next 10 years from the current year. For a more thorough treatment of Lightcast's projection methodology, see this article.
Lightcast projections will not match the BLS or any other individual state projections at the most detailed level. There are several reasons for the discrepancy:
1. Differences in Coverage
Lightcast has broken out our labor market data into four different classes of worker that allow our clients to dig into specific elements of their economy. In most states, the first two classes of workers (QCEW Employees and Non-QCEW Employees) are most closely comparable to the industry projections from the published sources. We don’t expect our self-employment and proprietors projections to match BLS and state-level projections.
2. We Don’t Use BLS/State Occupation Projections
Our occupation projections are based off of our industry numbers with our projected regional staffing pattern applied to the figures. As a result, the occupation projections will necessarily differ from BLS occupation numbers. However, we do use the BLS Industry by Occupation projections to help calculate the projected regional staffing patterns. We also use occupation data from the BLS Employment Projections program to produce our Annual Job Openings estimates. For more information see this article.
3. Differences in Methodology
Lightcast uses a combination of BLS, state, and internal projection methods. This will naturally differ from the BLS and state projections alone.
4. Release Lag
Lightcast projections are based on the most recent available data and published projections, but the BLS and states release only long-term projections on a two-year basis. Lightcast's internal projections are more heavily weighted as state/national projections age.